For more than a century, the small panhandle town of Marianna was home to the Florida School for Boys, aka the Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys. The “school” opened on New Year’s Day in 1900 and closed in 2011 after reporting brought back to light the horrific abuse endured by young men who were sent to the Dozier school’s “White House” where boys were, amongst other things, beaten with a leather strap attached to a wooden handle.
Charles Fudge, president of The Official White House Boys Organization, which functions as a support and advocacy group for survivors of the school, estimates that between 200-300 boys who went to the school are still alive.
On the Nov. 24 episode of The Skinny on WMNF-Tampa 88.5-FM, Fudge—along with Dozier survivors Roy Conerly, Gene Luker, and author Richard Huntly Sr. who is President of Black Boys at Dozier Reform School—talk about the emotional weight they carry with them, and their hopes for finally getting a shred of closure.
We also hear from Troy Rafferty, a shareholder at Levin, Papantonio, Rafferty, and lawyer who advocated for the legislation being brought to Tallahassee by Sen. Darryl Rouson and Rep. Rep. Michelle Saltzman (the latter recently, and separately from the issue of the Dozier school, make controversial comments in a discussion about the Israel-Hamas conflict).